Chicken Fever

I became a crazy social media mom last week.  But I think anyone who knows me should have seen that coming.  We ordered chicks from a hatchery but I have no patience.  I drove home from work Monday morning like I have been doing for the last 6 weeks.  I have too much time to sit and think on that drive.  I got home, took a nap and when I got up, over coffee, casually mentioned to my husband that the farm stores have their spring chicks in.  Just in case he wanted to go look at them.  I’m not smooth, he knew what I was up to.  Whether a momentary lapse in judging my ability to control myself or a similar need to have new chickens, he said, yeah, let’s go see what they’ve got.  When we walked in, we had already decided we would just take home a few.  We have birds coming, we don’t need a full flock today.  I asked the cashier to radio someone to meet us there, which she did, and we were off, gathering chicken things into our cart.  We had most of our improvised chick brooder ready to go, but we needed a couple of last minute supplies.  We got to the chicks and they had two breeds; the Rhode Island Reds were labeled, the blondies (as we have started calling them) were not.  We waited on our help to arrive, at least having the small amount of calm it takes not to just start picking them all up.  After we had been there a little while, I finally went in search of an associate.  The first guy I saw I asked to send some help to the chickens before I started stuffing them in my pockets.  He chuckled, but he could tell I was serious and, lo and behold, we got help very promptly.  This guy recognized a crazy chicken lady right away.  The young fella they sent to help us had little to no knowledge about the chickens.  I mean, he knew they were chickens, but that was close to all.  We didn’t expect him to be the chicken whisperer or anything, but he didn’t have any idea what breed the little yellow chicks were. We didn’t mind.  We decided on 3 of each.  The chicken wrangler handed me my first bird as he asked if we raise chickens.  When I saw that it was caked in poop and not very active, I politely said yep we do, and I would like to pick my own chicks please.  Then I climbed halfway in the box to start grabbing the crazy ones.  You know, the ones running full blast.  If this kid thought he could stop me, that moment came and passed very quickly.  He held the box while I picked out my feathered fuzz friends.  He gave me a sticker to take up front and we were off.  We got this brood home and while my wonderfully sweet hubby put their new brooder together, I snuggled 6 fuzzy birds in my fleece.  They slept, happy to be warm and tucked in.  We showed them the water and the food, which if you have ever met a chicken, is a big deal.  They eat constantly.

The online photos began immediately.  I became that person:  that mother who shares 8 pictures of almost the exact same pose, event, smile, whatever; except mine were these silly birds.  With delight I chuckled and photographed away while they did normal, every day chicken stuff.  But the people on my social media would not be spared.  Oh! Look!  This one has a new feather.  Yes, one new feather, oh isn’t that so sweet?  One new feather, you smart little chicken you.  I paused one day while I was in the kitchen doing some dishes and realized I had been talking to them like someone would talk to their toddler.  Am I crazy?  Meh, everybody talks to their chickens, right?  I figure, well, we talk to the cats and the rabbit, might as well keep the chicks informed about the state of things.

We don’t have our chicken coop done yet.  That’s mostly my fault.  We had more than enough time to work on it before the chicks arrived in the mail, but I got a solid case of chicken fever.  So we put the brooder in the house.  It is situated between the recliner and the couch in the living room, so they can hear us talking and going about our business.  I also have been feeding them age appropriate treats out of my hand and calling them.  They now come running over to the treat spot when I make my first little chicky call.

We have made a few modifications to the original brooder, and now they fall into the category of very spoiled chickens.  Next week we are going to put the second brooder together.  I will post some pics then of the process.  The chicks coming by mail need a place to stay and when they get here, they can’t be in with this first set of babies.  I would love to hear how you house your new chicks.